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Frame built for the shimano FFS, can a new BB be used?

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Frame built for the shimano FFS, can a new BB be used?

Old 06-28-08, 05:18 PM
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wizzfish
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Frame built for the shimano FFS, can a new BB be used?

was the BB extremely unique on bikes with this old system, or could I throw any other BB in there?

(Wanting to make it into a single speed with a different wheelset but lose this FFS crap).
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Old 06-28-08, 05:21 PM
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AFAIK, the FFS bottom bracket itself was unique but the frame's bb shell was conventional. You should be able to replace it with any suitably threaded (English I expect) current bb.
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Old 06-28-08, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
AFAIK, the FFS bottom bracket itself was unique but the frame's bb shell was conventional. You should be able to replace it with any suitably threaded (English I expect) current bb.
this is exactly what i was wanting to know -> if the frame was still usable for a single speed purpose. thanks a bunch

if anyone else can confirm or deny this that would be greatly appreciated. and for what it's worth, i got used to switching gears without pedaling!
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Old 06-28-08, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wizzfish View Post
this is exactly what i was wanting to know -> if the frame was still usable for a single speed purpose. thanks a bunch

if anyone else can confirm or deny this that would be greatly appreciated. and for what it's worth, i got used to switching gears without pedaling!
I agree with HillRider. There's nothing unusual about the FFS bottom bracket shell. All of the freewheeling stuff was mounted on the crank.

I was a Schwinn mechanic when the FFS stuff came out. Schwinn made their own adaptations for their version that fit on the one-piece steel cranks, but everything else was the same. The "freewheel" was set up so the cogs would rotate if something got caught in the chain (a safety feature), but the main freewheeling mechanism was (duh!) at the center of the chainwheels.

What you probably have is the version that fits a threaded bottom bracket. It's pretty weird- don't be surprised if today's average bike mechanic can't figure it out. The cups thread into the BB shell before the spindle is inserted, with threaded cones riding on the spindle. The cranks aren't square-taper, they're Octa Joint- the '80's version of Octalink. The disassembly will be in this order: cranks, chainrings (I think there's a snap ring), left side bearing cone, spindle, BB cups. I can't remember which tool removes the cups, but it may be a conventional hook spanner.

If you wanted to reuse the rear wheel, bear in mind that the FFS freewheel uses the older style Shimano freewheel tool: http://biketoolsetc.com/index.cgi?d=...em_id=BR-CT6MB . The newer one doesn't fit.

There's a page about the FFS in the 1982 Shimano catalog on the Harris Cyclery site:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/shimano1982/pages/35.html

If it's going to be a single-speed, you're going to have to get used to pedaling without switching gears! (I have a single-speed Schwinn LeTour. It's a dandy kick-around bike.)
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Old 06-29-08, 06:18 PM
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^
I'd probably just be getting a new wheelset....I was just worried because some places I've read that the FFS used the "american" or bmx sized bb shell...without threading or something. I know my basic bike stuff but this FFS BS is throwing me for a loop
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Old 06-29-08, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wizzfish View Post
^
I'd probably just be getting a new wheelset....I was just worried because some places I've read that the FFS used the "american" or bmx sized bb shell...without threading or something. I know my basic bike stuff but this FFS BS is throwing me for a loop
Don't worry about it. Like I said, the FFS was made for both the "American" and threaded BB shell. It's a little weird getting it apart like I said, but once it's off you can sell it on Ebay for a dollar or two.

OTOH- if it's going to be "single speed" and not "fixed", why not put a track cog on the rear wheel and let the FFS work as intended? (You have to make sure nothing, including fingers, gets caught in the chain. Danger, Will Robinson!) It would certainly be unique!

I have a single speed (my ex-LeTour) and a fixie (a converted Steelman track bike). So far I've been too chicken to ride the fixie, but the single speed gets me here and there with savior faire.
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Old 06-29-08, 09:35 PM
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i'd probably be leaning towards getting a flip flop hub, so if i want to go fixed i have the versatility to do so. so like i say i'd rather just have to change the wheel around rather than replace more components if and when that time comes .
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Old 07-03-08, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
Don't worry about it. Like I said, the FFS was made for both the "American" and threaded BB shell. It's a little weird getting it apart like I said, but once it's off you can sell it on Ebay for a dollar or two.
A detail that finally surfaced from the dusty recesses of my mind: to extract the bottom bracket cups, you'll need a Shimano freewheel tool. No kidding! Once you get the spindle out, you'll find that the inside perimeter is splined to match the "old style" freewheel tool.

Remember, the right side cup is left hand threaded. Righty loosey!
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Old 07-15-08, 11:13 PM
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wow, that dusty tidbit you pulled out of the recesses was exactly the info I needed, thanks! I recently bought an old schwinn world tourist frame with the FF cranks still attached. I too would like to replace the FFS with a newer BB and cranks and I was having a heck of a time getting the thing apart. I tried turning for LH and RH threads on the right side cup but to no avail. Knowing for sure it was LH threaded I vise gripped the lock nut and hammered on the left side crank. That did the trick! now to find an old style freewheel tool to borrow...
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